Hotels and restaurants of Latvia

Where to stay and eat in Latvia

Accommodation in Latvia

Cities are the primary locations to spend a night in Latvia. The larger the city, the more expensive is the accommodation.

Riga has the most accommodation options, ranging from hostels to the most expensive global hotel brands (just like in any global city). However, rather bad Latvian roads mean that it is usually impossible to just stay in Riga and visit other locations from there (except for nearby locations such as Sigulda, Cēsis or Jūrmala).

In smaller cities there are typically hotels ranging from little-renovated Soviet style ones (cheaper) to modern ones, sometimes established within historic buildings. In seaside locations there are more offers (especially Jūrmala), but some may close down in winter.

Short-term apartment rental is often possible through Air BnB and Booking.com but may require collateral and have limited check-in / check-out hours and are comparatively expensive. They are more useful for larger groups or families.

In the countryside a lot of former palaces and manors that have been converted into hotels. They may offer a poetic location and pretty-decorated buildings amidst old parks. However, most palaces lack authentic interiors as they were destroyed by Soviets to whom palaces were a symbol of former regimes. Palace or manor hotels typically have the word “pils” or “muiža” in their name.

However, not every muiža hotel will be within an impressive building and location, as some of the nobles weren’t especially rich and their “manors” did not differ that much from ordinary 19th century homes. So, if you want to spend a night within a building built for the richest, you have to read beyond official comments at booking websites.

Restaurants in Latvia

In cities the array of places to eat is rather large, the most so in Riga, where there is catering for every taste and wallet size.

All cities have fast food chain restaurants typically located on the outskirts or in the shipping malls. McDonald’s here has been dwarfed in the number of outlets by its regional (Finnish) competitor Hesburger, which offers similar albeit somewhat cheaper fare. Pizzerias are also somewhat popular, many of them owned by Lithuanian chains such as Čili Pizza. They often actually offer various food, not only pizzas.

Cafeterias are especially popular, offering both coffee and various cakes.

More traditional Latvian restaurants are located in the downtowns. Except for Riga, downtown location does not mean inflated prices. In summer, downtown restaurants often add open-air sections.

An open air cafe in central Riga
An open air cafe in central Riga. ©Augustinas Žemaitis.

In smaller towns there are usually just a couple restaurants offering standart Latvian cuisine. In weekends they may be hired for wedding celebrations and therefore closed.